The Alps

John Harlin III tackles his biggest fear: the mountain killed his father

Since he was nine years old, John Harlin III has held a lot if ill will for a huge rock. The offending heap would be the Eiger, a nearly 6,000-foot high mountain in the Alps of Switzerland, which claimed the life of his father. Mountain climber John Harlin II died when his rope snapped as he made his trek toward the summit. His son’s quest to face his own fears, make peace with the past, and reach the top of Eiger himself is told in the IMAX documentary film The Alps. Featuring breathtaking scenery of snow-capped peaks and blue sky — as well as a travelogue of nearby villages — The Alps is the type of film best viewed in the expansive format. “You’ll see an unprecedented view of unsurpassed beauty. It really is a you-are-there kind of film,” says Latha Thomas of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. And what if someone wants to appreciate the beauty of the mountain range but might be a bit, say, acrophobic? “In the scenes that do feature climbing, just shut your eyes and listen to the music,” Thomas says and laughs. “The moment will soon pass.”
Mondays-Sundays, 4 p.m., 2007

 
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